Augmented and virtual reality get a boost as DigiLens raises $22 million

Jan. 20, 2017
The maker of waveguide diffractive optical technology and nanomaterials has attracted new investments.

DigiLens (Sunnyvale, CA), a maker of waveguide diffractive optical technology and nanomaterials for augmented and virtual reality, has closed a $22 million Series B investment round. Strategic investors include Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, along with venture investors Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures among others. The company will use these relationships to bring to market augmented reality displays and sensors for enterprise, consumer, and transportation applications.

“It’s taken us several years to perfect our diffractive optical materials and exposure process for AR-HUD (head-up display) manufacture,” said Jonathan Waldern, DigiLens Founder and CEO. “Having successfully developed our AeroHUD, in flight now for Rockwell Collins, this new investment will accelerate our wide field of view AutoHUD for Continental, the MotoHUD we demoed with BMW, and the EyeHUD smart glasses for new partners in both enterprise and consumer markets.

Related article:Head-worn displays—Useful tool or niche novelty? By Senior Editor Gail Overton

Gilman Louie, Founder and Managing Director of Alsop Louie Partners and lead investor, said, “The next generation display technology will be glass. Data on glass is a critical capability for augmented and mixed reality applications such as gaming, navigation, telepresence, education, industrial, medical, and military.”

G. Chen, CTO at Foxconn, added “Augmented reality is a challenge, in part, because the devices are restrained by the laws of physics and not Moore’s Law. We think diffractive optics holds the key to AR, but writing millions of tiny optic structures is best done photographically, using nano self-assembly, not expensive precision etching like HoloLens. We need to break the manufacturing price barrier, and with waveguide diffractive optics, they seem to have overcome most nagging technical problems and we see a very bright future for them.”

Source: DigiLens

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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